When the things that we pay top dollar for to savour at restaurants become available commercially at pocket-friendly prices, we cannot help but want to keep it under wraps. But it is difficult not to share the good news that is Secrets Fine Food, which opened in Tiong Bahru last November.
The chiller by the entrance is stacked with butter from Bordier – France’s last butter maker who still churns the golden substance by hand. The walls are lined with jams, olive oils, truffle honeys and teas, and in a freezer, you can even find hormone- and antibiotic-free whole yellow chicken from France, raised for 81 days for optimal flavour and texture.
Stephanie Duriez is the woman we need to thank for this place. The French native who started Secrets as an e-business in Dubai three years ago is just as excited as we are about the physical store – you might catch her in the shop, enthusiastically sharing her wealth of knowledge on the wares. Duriez – who used to be in F&B-related businesses before setting up Secrets – visits the producers personally and can tell you everything from the taste profile of the product to the family history of the people behind it. So, while home-delivery options will soon be available for its Singapore operations, a trip down to the store is still worth it.
55 Tiong Bahru Road. www.secretsfinefood.com.sg
6 of our favourite finds at Secrets Fine Food
01: IL BORGO DEL BALSAMICO
Within the range of balsamic vinegar offered by this family business is a bright, tart variety aged for about four years to attain a savoury undertone similar to that of a wellrounded soya sauce. In fact, Duriez suggests using this as you would a soya sauce.
02: CASTILLO DE CANENA SMOKED EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
This Andalucian olive oil is infused with smoked organic oak for a savoury edge reminiscent of lox. A drizzle of this takes your regular salad to another level. Also perfect with burrata.
03: BEURRE BORDIER
Eight flavours – from the iconic seaweed to yuzu, and also practical salted and non-salted options for bakers – are available here, and all for about $6 per 125g block. Go crazy.
04: CHRISTINE FERBER JAMS
Known as the “fairy of jams”, those by Ferber are made with only seasonal fruit selected by her, which are then cut by hand. The end product – free of added fl avouring or preservatives – boasts pronounced, natural flavours.
05: LA BURRATA DE CASEIFICIO ARTIGIANA
Freshness is key to deliciousness, and sold at the shop just days after production, these cream bombs are as good as what you get at restaurants. At just $15 for 300g, this burrata will have you stuffing your face like a child given a pint of ice cream.
06: COLD CUTS
While it is not possible to sell cold cuts in Dubai, the Singapore operation boasts a tantalising range of cold cuts, from velvety duck and pork rillettes to sausages and hams, from France, Spain and Italy. Platters are also available.